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Computer Engineering Commons

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Computer and Systems Architecture

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Communications infrastructure

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Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2018

Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Paul Baran’s seminal 1964 article “On Distributed Communications Networks” that first proposed packet switching also advanced an underappreciated vision of network architecture: a lattice-like, distributed network, in which each node of the Internet would be homogeneous and equal in status to all other nodes. Scholars who have subsequently embraced the concept of a lattice-like network approach have largely overlooked the extent to which it is both inconsistent with network theory (associated with the work of Duncan Watts and Albert-László Barabási), which emphasizes the importance of short cuts and hubs in enabling networks to scale, and the actual way, the ...